Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Rest Of Her Offspring - Revelation 12:13-17

Revelation 12:13-17 ESV
And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

The woman who gave birth to the male child must be Israel. The Savior was born through this nation.

The eagle's wings denote the protection and provision of The Lord. This imagery is used a number of times in Scripture. Safety and nourishment are found under the protective wing of The Lord.

Satan is called both the dragon and the serpent in this passage. Pharaoh of Egypt was referred to as the dragon of the Nile. Pharaoh was the man who claimed to be god and saw himself as supreme.

The image and role of the serpent was cast in Genesis as crafty and deceptive. The horses of the locusts have tails like serpents which can refer to those that lead others astray. The horses may remind us of the judgement pronounced in the first four seals of the four horseman. We can see here the consistency of how symbols are used in the Bible.

The serpent attempts to harm the woman with a flood. God confirms that He will not destroy mankind with a flood and testifies to this covenant with the rainbow. Just as The Lord parted the Red Sea to allow Israel passage and escape from Pharaoh, He will provide protection to Israel that will swallow the flood that issues from the mouth of the serpent. The Lord parted the Jordan River to allow Israel to enter the promised land.

The dragon is enraged and focuses on the woman's offspring, identified as the church through its description: "on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." He persecutes the church to this day.

There is some difference of opinion as who is standing on the sand, and whether the verse should be at the end of Chapter 12 or at the beginning of Chapter 13. It would make sense the one spoken of is Satan. John gives witness to the vision he saw. It is the fallen dragon who finds himself on the earth. He stands beside the sea which represents humanity. He stands on a foundation of sand, on the shaky ground of rebellion. From the edge of that sea he will call forth a beast, and a second beast from the earth. The beast from the earth may point to a religious leader, or one that serves the dragon in that office. The second beast calls for the worship of the first beast. Many will.

Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

Isaiah 40:31
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Daniel 7:25-27
He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey him. ’

Isaiah 8:7-8
therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”

John 8:44-47
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Resurrection Life - Luke 20:34-38

Luke 20:34-38 ESV
And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”

The resurrection is at the core of Christianity. In it God demonstrated His love and power as He provided the way for man to enter into His presence. The tomb where He was laid was empty when the women came to the grave. We who follow after Him will find ourselves in His presence when we no longer walk this earth. We will pass from life to life.

38"Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”

Verse 38 confirms that we do not die when we shed our mortal bodies. God is life and that does not change and the life He gives does not die. The Sons of God share in that life and all live to Him.

Today we share in the resurrection of Christ, the first resurrection. We live in new life as new creations. The earth longs for the revealing of the sons of God.

Thrown Down - Revelation 12:7-12

Revelation 12:7-12 ESV
Satan Thrown Down to Earth
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world— he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

Here we revisit the expulsion of Satan from heaven, but this time we are told what this means. Rebellion grew into war. Satan and his followers in heaven are defeated by Michael and his angels. Christ does not sacrifice Himself for those that sin in heaven, and they are ejected from heaven like Adam and Eve were turned out of the Garden of Eden. While Adam and Eve had not chosen the tree of life, neither had they rejected it. They have indeed sinned, but are redeemable. The devil and his angels have utterly rejected The Lord and will face destruction.

Satan's defeat is accomplished on two fronts. First, Jesus defeats sin and death on earth through His sacrifice and obedience to God. Michael and his angels do battle on the second front. Jesus rises to assume His throne. The devil is thrown down to the earth, but a different earth. A great light has dawned and the darkness is compromised, but grows in the hearts of men.

The latter and final days have begun.

“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God."

The reign of Christ begins. The battle for our souls continues, with deception the main weapon on one side and the sword of truth on the other. The main battleground is in the heart. This is where Satan can work his mischief to best effect. It is in this darkness where his deceptive words can best be heard, but there is someone Who stands at the door and knocks. Truth and love will prevail over lies and hate. Satan and those who follow him will be cast out one more time, and this time from earth. He and those who take his mark will be removed from the world.

The kingdom of God is established. Its completion is yet to come as God's mercy hold's out for all that would be saved. The blood of His Son has been spilled to satisfy the law. The testimony of His word has become their own testimony, for they share in His Spirit. All in heaven and the kingdom rejoice at this gift of grace and love.

The object of the dragon's wrath is the earth and sea, the people of the world. Satan knows his time is short, but these people have no idea how short time is and that it is running out.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Woman And The Dragon - Revelation 12:1-6

Revelation 12:1-6 ESV
The Woman and the Dragon
And a great sign appeared in heaven:a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven:behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

Signs in heaven are mentioned often in Scripture. This one portrays the struggle and hostility against God. The dragon seeks to destroy the child as he deceived Eve. The coming and going of the Son is before us with His ascension to the throne. The woman, or Israel, is then hidden in the wilderness and tended to for 42 months. This seems to connect us with that same reference of time comprised of three and one half years which is part of the last week before Christ returns.

The end of earth and fruition of God's plan is told to us using the same seven day structure that spoke of creation. The last week speaks of the latter days and this knowledge adds to an increased sensitivity to what it means when Jesus says He will return quickly.

We note that in this vision that Christ has ascended to the throne. His reign begins, though not all of His enemies bow down. They still trample in Jerusalem. The dragon is thrown down from heaven and becomes earthbound. This could be what is meant by being bound. Darkness descends on the earth. The moon turning to blood may be a reference to the red dragon who now shines his dark light in the night.

He is no longer able to deceive those freed from the chains of death and led to heaven by the Redeemer. By His light, Satan is revealed. There is no place left for him in heaven. His time on earth is limited.

From Beale's NGNTC:
Though 12:1–15:4 can be divided in various ways, the best way to discern its divisions objectively is to trace the repeated introductory vision formulas like “and I saw” (καὶ εδον) and “and behold” (καὶ ἰδού). Thus seven sections or “signs” are seen: (1) the conflict of the serpent with the woman and her seed (ch. 12), (2) persecution by the beast from the sea (13:1–10), (3) persecution by the beast from the land (13:11–18), (4) the Lamb and the 144,000 standing on Mount Zion (14:1–5), (5) the proclamation of the gospel and of judgment by three angels (14:6–13), (6) the Son of man’s harvest of the earth (14:14–20), and (7) the saints’ victory over the sea beast and their victory song (15:2–4).

There is a sevenfold structure of the signs are noted by several commentators.

The time between His comings has begun.

Hosea 2:19-20
And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.

Joel 2:30-32
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Isaiah 13:8
They will be dismayed:
pangs and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at one another;
their faces will be aflame.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Have Loved You - Revelation 3:9

Revelation 3:9 ESV
Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.

Many claim to be Christians but are not. Those will be the ones to whom The Lord will say, "I don't know you".

There are many who thought and think they are the Sons of Abraham, but are not. Consider the offspring of the man Abraham. One was born of the slave woman, and one the son of the promise. Both descended from Abraham, but only one would inherit the heritage and promises of the Father.

The one born from God's will is the true son. All those with the truth in them are true Jews, or sons of God. It is not through man's will they are born, but they are born from above.
These are the ones separated to God, love answering love and sealed in His Spirit.

Learn what love is about, true love.
In that love is life.

Seventh Trumpet - Revelation 11:15-19

Revelation 11:15-19 ESV
The Seventh Trumpet
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty- four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
The nations raged,
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

The reign of Christ moves forward and expands. The elders fall down and worship The Lord. No others in heaven are mentioned. Perhaps this speaks of the Church praising God for the redemption of their brothers. A great multitude will come into the kingdom as a result of this light that comes through Israel.

The mountain of The Lord is Mt. Zion. The tribes of Israel are raised up and become a light for all nations. Once again Israel is delivered from the land of Egypt.

Isaiah 44:23
Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
and will be glorified in Israel.

Psalms 22:27-28
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.

Isaiah 2:2-3
It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Zechariah 8:20-23
“Thus says the Lord of hosts:Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going. ’ Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts:In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. ’”

Isaiah 49:6-7
he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Daniel 7:26-27
But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.,
And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey him. ’

Micah 7:15-17
As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,
I will show them marvelous things.
The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;
they shall lay their hands on their mouths;
their ears shall be deaf;
they shall lick the dust like a serpent,
like the crawling things of the earth;
they shall come trembling out of their strongholds;
they shall turn in dread to the Lord our God,
and they shall be in fear of you.

Daniel 12:1-2
The Time of the End
“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Ezekiel 38:22-23
With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Two Witnesses - Revelation 11:1-14

Revelation 11:1-14 ESV
The Two Witnesses
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty- two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.
There are various speculations as to the identity of these two witnesses. Most seem to interpret them as two individuals: Moses and Elijah. This might be true. I am reminded that Israel was expecting Elijah to be the one who proclaimed the arrival of The Lord. John came instead. Jesus later told us that John came in the spirit of Elijah, if we could bear the truth.

They may indeed be two individuals. It may also be symbolic as are most of the images in Revelation. The image could be several things at once, literal and symbolic as were the churches. One day we will know for sure.

We can be pretty sure Jerusalem is in view, though how expansive or inclusive this is relative to the rest of the world may be debatable. We all had a hand in The Lord's crucifixion. The world will rejoice in the demise of both witnesses. Everyone who dies to self and places their trust in The Lord will hear the words, "Come up here". They will follow in the footsteps of The Lord and will meet Him in the clouds upon His return.

Whatever or whoever witnesses to the word of God speak from the Holy Spirit. Trees are often symbolic of someone who is mature and strong in The Lord, whose roots reach deep into the earth beside the spring fed river that flows from the throne of God. The tabernacle had the image of an olive tree on either side of the door leading into the Holy of Holies, foreshadowing the witnesses that give testimony to God Almighty. The two covenants of God may be in view. It is through them that God provides a way for man to enter His presence. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life". The ark of the covenant lies on the other side. The mercy seat rests on the ark. It is here where God and man meet, where heaven and earth are joined to become one.

In Romans, Paul uses the olive tree to speak of Israel and the Gentiles in terms of a cultivated tree and branches vs. wild olive branches that are grafted in. Both utilize the same roots and become one tree.

The Spirit testifies to man. The Son is the word spoken into creation. Both give witness to the Father. Two or more witnesses are required to testify of the truth. The Spirit only speaks the truth and of the deep things of God. The Son only speaks the words of the Father and is the Word. They and the Father are one and give witness to each other.

A tenth of the city fell in the great earthquake, a number that usually represents a tithe due The Lord. The next verse may be telling us that the full and complete number of people are gathered. Those left are shaken by this earthquake out of unbelief and give glory to God. This all serves to make me think more of Israel than of the church as a whole. Most of Revelation from Chapter 4 onward seems to have a Jewish focus, and brings the conclusion of God's judgement on His servants and the world. Chapters 2 & 3 focus on church and preparing for the return of the Savior.

Ezekiel 40:3-4
When he brought me there, behold, there was a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. And he was standing in the gateway. And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”

Zechariah 2
Chapter 2
A Vision of a Man with a Measuring Line
And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand! Then I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.” And behold, the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him and said to him, “Run, say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst. ’”
Up! Up! Flee from the land of the north, declares the Lord. For I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, declares the Lord. Up! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon. For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”
Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.

Luke 21:20-24
Jesus Foretells Destruction of Jerusalem
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Zechariah 4:11-14
Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” And a second time I answered and said to him, “What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oil is poured out?” He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”

Jeremiah 5:14-17
The Lord Proclaims Judgment
Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:
“Because you have spoken this word,
behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire,
and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.
Behold, I am bringing against you
a nation from afar, O house of Israel,
declares the Lord.
It is an enduring nation;
it is an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know,
nor can you understand what they say.
Their quiver is like an open tomb;
they are all mighty warriors.
They shall eat up your harvest and your food;
they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
your fortified cities in which you trust
they shall beat down with the sword.”

Luke 4:25-30
But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away.

James 5:17-20
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Daniel 7:21-22
As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

Ezekiel 23:8-10
She did not give up her whoring that she had begun in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their whoring lust upon her. Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted. These uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters; and as for her, they killed her with the sword; and she became a byword among women, when judgment had been executed on her.

Psalms 79:2-7
They have given the bodies of your servants
to the birds of the heavens for food,
the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.
How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call upon your name!
For they have devoured Jacob
and laid waste his habitation.

John 16:20
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

Hebrews 10:29-31
How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Revelation 12:6
and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

Psalms 52:8-9
But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.

Jeremiah 11:16-17
The Lord once called you ‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit. ’ But with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.”

Romans 11:17-24
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God:severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Psalms 105:26-29
He sent Moses, his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
They performed his signs among them
and miracles in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness, and made the land dark;
they did not rebel against his words.
He turned their waters into blood
and caused their fish to die.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Angel of The Lord -Revelation 10:1-10

Revelation 10:1-10 ESV
The Angel and the Little Scroll
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.

A mighty angel descends from heaven. The description of the angel points us back to the angel of The Lord, which is Christ. God said He would make earth the footstool of the Son. This angel's feet rest on the earth and sea. Dominion is given to the one who possesses the scroll. There was only one worthy of taking the scroll from the hand of the Father.

The Lion of Judah is before us. His voice of seven thunders confirms that this is God Who speaks. It is God the Son. He fulfills the word spoken by God through the prophets.

The time has come for the Son to defeat all His enemies and deliver the world to the Father.

The word of God is as sweet as honey, but it contains the bitterness of man's rejection of a just and Holy God. The reality of this rebellion and consequence is foretold.

The word remains sealed to Israel to this day, and to those that are not sealed in the Spirit.

Ezekiel 1:28
Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

Isaiah 8:16-17
Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

Romans 11:25-27
The Mystery of Israel's Salvation
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

Psalms 119:103-104
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cut It Down - Luke 13:6-9

Luke 13:6-9 ESV
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
And he told this parable:“A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground? ’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down. ’”

A fig tree was often used to symbolize Israel. God sought fruit from His people, but all too frequently He found none. He reworked the soil, loosening that which had become hard and non-bearing. He applied discipline to make them grow and refine and bear fruit.

Jesus said He would raise the temple in three days. He rose three days after slain to become the true vine which was the only way to produce the fruit God sought.

Foreshadowing this was a commandment of God through Moses that said once the people entered the promised land and planted a fruit tree, they were to let three years pass and begin to eat its fruit on the fourth year.

Bearing fruit is the purpose of the tree, else it will be cut down.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Apollyon -Revelation 9:1-12

Revelation 9:1-12
And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.
In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions 'teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.
The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.

Satan falls to earth. God has given him the key to abyss. Satan is only allowed to exist and to do for His purpose. The bottomless pit is opened and there comes forth a smoke that obscures the light, which dims as the horde spills out. They are permitted to torment the earth dwellers for a time.

They have in their tails the sting of death, though death eludes them in their agony. They are not given authority over the living things of the earth. It is only the dead, the people with the mark of the beast, that are subject to Satan.

John likens them to horses prepared for battle. This may remind us of the four horseman described in the seals. The first four seals may symbolize the release of judgement on the four corners of the earth.

Scorpions have the sting of death. Snakes have a deadly bite, and smooth words of destruction.

Abaddon is the Hebrew transliteration for destruction. The Greek word Apollyon carries the same meaning of destruction or destroyer. The terms can mean destruction or death. It can also be used as here, the embodiment of that destruction.

Luke 10:18-20
And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Isaiah 14:12-13
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;

Genesis 19:28-29
And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.
So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

Joel 2:10-11
The earth quakes before them;
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
The Lord utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?
Jeremiah 8:3
Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, declares the Lord of hosts.

Joel 1:6-7
For a nation has come up against my land,
powerful and beyond number;
its teeth are lions 'teeth,
and it has the fangs of a lioness.
It has laid waste my vine
and splintered my fig tree;
it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
their branches are made white.

1 John 5:19-21
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

Chief Mission Field

The chief mission field for all of us exists within the boundary of self. It is in this soil the seed of the word is planted and yields the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are the caretakers of our portion and charged with subduing that earth, of being fruitful and multiplying.

We work that field, but God makes it grow.

Anything else is simply a byproduct of that creation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pitch Their Tents - Numbers 1:47-54

Numbers 1:47-54 ESV
Levites Exempted
But the Levites were not listed along with them by their ancestral tribe. For the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Only the tribe of Levi you shall not list, and you shall not take a census of them among the people of Israel. But appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings, and over all that belongs to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they shall take care of it and shall camp around the tabernacle. When the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down, and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up. And if any outsider comes near, he shall be put to death. The people of Israel shall pitch their tents by their companies, each man in his own camp and each man by his own standard. But the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the testimony, so that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the people of Israel. And the Levites shall keep guard over the tabernacle of the testimony.” Thus did the people of Israel; they did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses.

The twelve tribes are numbered just as they are numbered in Revelation. The Levites are not and are around the tabernacle. This may foreshadow the elders around the throne in John's vision of the throne room. The church becomes a royal priesthood to serve the King. The tribes become His people who move in the world and carry His light to the nations. The harvest becomes a multitude without number.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Joy To The World

Sabbath is not part of creation, but is God's rest beyond creation.
It is the new creation revealed in His sons, and the freedom which is fully realized when we receive our inheritance as His children

This is why we were born and reborn, that we would be with Him.
He takes joy in our joy which is in Him.
Joy to the world

Written In Heaven - Luke 10:17-20

Luke 10:17-20 ESV
The Return of the Seventy- Two
The seventy- two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

Jesus confirms the fall of Satan upon the return of the seventy-two. They were able to witness and overcome the enemy in His name. Satan is cast out of heaven and no longer has audience with God, no longer able to accuse those saved. It is in His name that God is fully revealed. It is in these days that His reign has begun. He has freed the captives and transferred them into the kingdom. These latter days seem to refer to the millennium, for those that follow Christ are no longer hurt by snakes and enjoy peace beyond understanding.

Satan falls like lightening. This divine action is quick and definitive, and reminds us of Christ's return for us. In the twinkle of an eye He will appear like lightning across the sky. He is coming quickly.

The earth is filled with the knowledge of Christ. Some reject the seed of the word and it prospers depending on the soil where it lands. All will be judged by a merciful and just God. The pages of the book of life are open for everyone's name. It's up to us to sign in.

Romans 16:20
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Psalms 91:13-16
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Isaiah 11:8-9
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Ezekiel 2:6-7
And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Four Trumpets - Revelation 8:6-13

Revelation 8:6-13
And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.
Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “ Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

The sounding of the trumpets begin. The judgements of the seals are announced and are portrayed by the tribulations associated with the first trumpet. Destruction will follow.

We see a partial destruction of the earth described in thirds, except all the green grass was burned up. Coincidently, I read recently that one third of all Jews were killed during World War Two. The fire from The Lord withers away the beauty of the earth. In 1Peter all flesh is likened to grass. When Moses stretched out his hand before Pharaoh we saw hail and fire and lightenIng rain down on Egypt. The enemies of The Lord will be struck by His hand as well and they will know that He is Lord and Israel is His chosen people, just as the Egyptians learned.

The burning mountain and the star that fall from heaven may picture the fall of satan and those that follow him. Death and destruction follow him wherever he goes. He turns clean water to bitter, which finds its source from his bitter heart. He has fallen from his lofty place and is angry. The strong man will not give up until he is cast into destruction.

The fourth trumpet points to darkening of the world at the hands of Satan. In Chapter 9 we will see further detail of the meaning behind the idiom of the lights of the world becoming dim. He opens the doors of the abyss and smoke rises darkening the sun and obscuring the stars.

Before the next three trumpets sound, we are told that these herald three woes that will afflict those "who dwell on earth", the typical reference to non-believers.

The first four trumpets seem to paint a picture of the broad context of what follows.

The next three will add detail of Satan's fall to earth. He was cast out when Jesus overcame the world.

James 1:11
For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

1 Peter 1:24-25
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Isaiah 30:30-31
And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. The Assyrians will be terror- stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod.

Ezekiel 38:22-23
With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 38:22-23
With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Isaiah 14:12-14
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High. ’

Deuteronomy 29:18-20
Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart. ’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike. The Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Brothers - Luke 8:19-21

Luke 8:19-21 NASB
And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

Understanding the word means doing the word. It is in embracing the word, making it ours, that we become one with the word, we enter into the brotherhood of the sons of God.

The Greek word for "do" includes the idea of construction, creating. In effect, we are co-creators
with God in the new creation. The creation story includes what follows after Genesis. God makes no mistakes. We are part of the creation story. We are the body of Christ through Whom creation came to be, for Whom creation was made.

We individually perform the charge that God gave Adam, to subdue the earth, to be fruitful and multiply.

It is the second Adam, Jesus, that makes this possible. Through Him we receive the Spirit, the breath of life. The the dust of the earth becomes a living being, a suitable companion for the Creator of the universe.

Hebrews 2:11-12
For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying,
“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

2 Corinthians 5:16-19
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

John 15:15-17
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

James 1:22-25
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

ποιεω [Skt. assoc.] – 1. ‘produce someth. material’ – a. of divine productivity make, create Mt 19:4; Lk 11:40; Ac 4:24; 7:50; 17:24; Hb 1:2; 12:27; Rv 14:7. – b. of human manufacture or construction make, construct

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seventh Seal - Revelation 8:1-5

Revelation 8:1-5 ESV
The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

There is a pause between the sixth and seventh seal and trumpet.  There is no pause in the bowls.  This might indicate the seals and trumpets are related and coexist as they lead up to the pouring out of the bowls.  The silence after the opening of the seventh seal may be the only response possible as heaven looks on in awe of the sovereign majesty before them.  The patience of God has worn thin. The time is at hand. It is a terrible thing to fall in the hands of The Lord.

Go back and look at Chapter 6 in Joshua. You will be reading of the battle of Jericho. It foreshadows the trumpets here in Revelation. The Israelites were commanded to march around the city for six days, led by their priests with seven trumpets. These trumpets are made of rams' horn symbolizing the power and might that belong to God, and announcing and confirming the righteous judgement that is unleashed with opening of the seals. They precede and make way for the bowls of wrath that will be poured out earth.

We note the connection with the creation story that uses a seven day framework to begin the revelation of Jesus. Revelation uses the hepatic structure presenting the ending visions with the divine stamp as signified by the number three. There are three sets of seven visions that speak of the perfection of God's plan. Just as creation unfolds within seven days, we see the creation story unfold with the Jesus Christ beginning His reign after His resurrection told through a three-fold prism conclusion which will bring us into the new creation. That creation has begun in all of us creatures that have reborn in the Spirit. We await the certain and known end of the old world, for it is passing away, and we look forward to a new day in which the light and glory of The Lord will fill the earth.

The prayers of the saints that rise before God echo the shout of those that marched around that ancient city for six days in silence and found themselves on the seventh day waiting on the Lord. They trusted in God and He showed them a new thing. The trumpet blows and the people shout.
We will another city here in later chapters.

The walls of the city fell with the onslaught of an earthquake and the city was destroyed. The inhabitants met their destruction. The city was burned and everything in it. The only thing taken from Jericho were precious items which went into the house of The Lord. One may be reminded of the plunder taken from Egypt as Israel began their desert wanderings. Another exodus looms in front of us and the earth will be shaken.

Christ opened the seals. We are the body of Christ. He rose from the grave and our prayers with Him, a sweet and savory aroma that rises to the alter of God. He left us sealed with His Spirit and left us in the world to give witness to the Christ and His light. He entered heaven to begin His reign.

Our prayers mix with the fire of fire before the throne, then are thrown down onto the earth. No longer will those under the alter ask, "How long"?

Amos 3:6
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the Lord has done it?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Great Multitude - Revelation 7:9-17

Revelation 7:9-17 ESV
A Great Multitude from Every Nation
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

After the sealing of Israel we then we see the great and final harvest that proves so fruitful during the great tribulation. Israel shines as a light for God and finally reflects that true light into the world. This has always been their purpose and calling: "That they will know I am God". To give witness.

Note this multitude is without number. The others have a number. The others share in the same kingdom as the unnumbered multitude, but are the firstfruits.

The full number of Gentiles is before us. They are, "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,". The harvest of the world is complete. God will wipe away every tear.

Genesis 49:10
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Isaiah 2:2-3
It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 49:6-7
he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

John 12:13
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

Hebrews 1:6-9
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God's angels worship him.”
Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Hebrews 1:6-9
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God's angels worship him.”
Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Isaiah 25:8
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

144,000 - Revelation 7:1-8

Revelation 7:1-8
Chapter 7
The 144,000 of Israel Sealed
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.

Before the final showdown between the forces of good and evil comes to pass, God stays His hand of wrath until the remnant of Israel is sealed. The church has already been sealed. I know I have. Twelve tribes are listed, and each tribe has the number of twelve thousand as sealed. Twelve represents the complete or full roster of Israel. This number multiplied by 1000 means an immense and the full number of His servants are marked.

While the church is sometimes referred to as servants of God, the term may more aptly apply to Israel, especially with the supporting context. The church serves in the role of a royal priesthood, servants of God to be sure and of the same house. The roles and purposes of the Jews and Gentiles differ. We all have been given different gifts and serve in a unique way. We are told the first will be last and the last shall be first. From the standpoint of grace, every will see their reward. In the parable of of those called by the landowner to work in the field, everyone received the same wages no matter how much or little they labored.

When it refers to the "earth or the sea or the trees" it is talking about the world and those that dwell there, that is those who have not chosen to be with God through Christ.
The church has previously made that choice and are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

After this vision, we see another multitude come into view from every nation that no one could number, that have come out of the great tribulation.

Ezekiel 7:1-3
Chapter 7
The Day of the Wrath of the Lord
The word of the Lord came to me: “And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. Now the end is upon you, and I will send my anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations.

Monday, March 11, 2013

For Their Faith

Iran puts five Christians on trial for their faith

Get ready. It's happening in America too.

The New Garden - Leviticus 19:23-25

Leviticus 19:23-25 ESV
“When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, then you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it must not be eaten. And in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat of its fruit, to increase its yield for you:I am the Lord your God.

The first fruits. Forbidden as was the fruit in the Garden. We as the body of Christ are buried with him. He rose after three days. The fruit becomes holy in time, the 4th year.
You may eat its fruit

This passage may shed light on the Garden. The Garden is presented in Leviticus as the promised land. This time the fruit trees are planted by man. The seeds are from The Lord, but it is up to man to them. As in the Garden, fruit is forbidden to be eaten, though here there is a known timeframe. There was probably one in the Garden, a time when Adam would be judged ready, but Adam did not obey God.

The three years may be significant for it is the number of days that Christ was dead before being raised by the power of God. We are buried with Christ and are raised with, transferred into the kingdom of God, or the promised land. We are then made holy as we begin to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We become the first fruits of the harvest, holy to God. The fruit then is ready to be eaten and the trees will bear fruit for all the nations.

Leviticus 20:22-26
You Shall Be Holy
“You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey. ’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

In this passage we see a similar phrase used in Revelation, "vomit you out". There in the letter to the church of Laodicea we encounter this wording because they are neither hot or cold, He is getting ready to vomit, or spew them them out of His mouth. They would lose their inheritance.
The promised land would no longer be theirs. They would face expulsion much like the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden.

That gives insight to the Garden's meaning. God created the Garden to have people separated to Him. The Garden was in the world but was not the world. It was a world filled with people and Adam was to tend to it as he obeyed God. He failed to do that.

The New Jerusalem becomes the restored Garden of Eden which will descend from heaven into the new earth populated with those born from above. God's purpose is accomplished. The nations will come to worship and give glory to God. There will be no need for a temple for God dwells with man in the new city. We will serve Him as holy priests, and we will be with Him.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Who Can Stand? - Revelation 6:9-17

Revelation 6:9-17 ESV
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

With the fifth seal opened, we observe saints who have been slain for the word and have endured to the death their witness to The Lord. They cry out, "How long?" This was a recurring question in the Psalms. How long would His people have to suffer at the hands of their enemies? How long before He avenges them, before He administers justice and righteousness? Luke 11:50 hints these are probably the Old Testament saints.

The Lord answers with, 'Just a little while longer'. He does not wish anyone to die, so He is allowing a little more time for repentance from those who will.

The sixth seal is opened and the world is shaken. The mountains of the earth begin to crumble as they are moved from their place. The established order begins to unravel to make way for the new order. The new creation is at hand. The light of the world is removed and no longer shines in the darkness. Light is replaced by darkness and the blood spilled over the ages in wickedness comes back to haunt the earth. The sign of the moon casts a sinister glow on a fallen world.

The earth is further compromised as stars fall from heaven, for it too is shaken and the spoiled fruit of rebellion is cast down to earth. The blanket for the stars is rolled up and the mountains of earth are likewise removed. All things are being made new.

Those that have placed their faith in the world and denied God now call to that same world to save them from the wrath of God. No help will be found. Instead they will flee from God to hide just as Adam hid in shame. Instead of seeking shelter in the Rock of The Lord, they will seek the darkness of the holes in the earth.

They will not be able to stand.

Philippians 1:23-24
I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

John 16:2-4
They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

1 Samuel 24:12-13
May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness. ’ But my hand shall not be against you.

Psalms 58:10-11
The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Luke 11:50-51
so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.

Romans 12:19-21
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Isaiah 26:20-21
Come, my people, enter your chambers,
and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until the fury has passed by.
For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
and will no more cover its slain.

Isaiah 13:9-13
Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the land a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
and the moon will not shed its light.
I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
I will make people more rare than fine gold,
and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
at the wrath of the Lord of hosts
in the day of his fierce anger.

Isaiah 34:4-12
All the host of heaven shall rot away,
and the skies roll up like a scroll.
All their host shall fall,
as leaves fall from the vine,
like leaves falling from the fig tree.
For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;
behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom,
upon the people I have devoted to destruction.
The Lord has a sword; it is sated with blood;
it is gorged with fat,
with the blood of lambs and goats,
with the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Wild oxen shall fall with them,
and young steers with the mighty bulls.
Their land shall drink its fill of blood,
and their soil shall be gorged with fat.
For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch,
and her soil into sulfur;
her land shall become burning pitch.
Night and day it shall not be quenched;
its smoke shall go up forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
none shall pass through it forever and ever.
But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it,
the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
He shall stretch the line of confusion over it,
and the plumb line of emptiness.
Its nobles—there is no one there to call it a kingdom,
and all its princes shall be nothing.

Psalms 2:10-12
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Isaiah 2:10-11
Enter into the rock
and hide in the dust
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty.
The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,
and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Psalms 76:7-9
But you, you are to be feared!
Who can stand before you
when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgment;
the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment,
to save all the humble of the earth.

Joel 2:11
The Lord utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Come - Revelation 6:1-8

Revelation 6:1-8 ESV
Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

After the resurrection of the Lamb that was slain, we see the The Lord as the King of Kings. His reign has begun in that time between His first and second comings. That time is a long time from our standpoint, it may even seem like a thousand years. It is a finite time, but it can seem like forever. We are in the Millennium. The peace that goes beyond understanding acts to confirm this position even in the midst of persecution and troubles. Jesus has begun His rule and those that follow Him have been sealed with His Spirit. Satan has been bound and he is no longer able to deceive those reborn. They have received their freedom from the chains of death. There is no need to take a position on the Millennium. It will proceed as God has decreed and what He meant. At the end of this time, Satan will be released to wage war against God.

The authority and dominion of Christ is confirmed in His opening of the seals and His judgements symbolized by the first four horseman. We can see evidence of this all around us as the world continues its downward spiral in these last days. Nothing new needs to happen before our Lord's return. We will only see the frequency and intensity of the birth pains of a new creation increase.

Christ opens the seals, but it is the living creatures that call out, "Come!". Creation groans in anticipation of the revealing of the sons of God. The believers themselves resound with the cry, "Come Lord Jesus come!", and ready themselves for that day. The four winds of heaven are associated with four horses in Zechariah, and we sense that as it blows from the door of heaven that Christ leaves open.

Death and Hades are given authority over a fourth of the earth to kill. These methods are similar to the curses that Moses said would result in disobedience to The Lord. The continuity that exists between the Old and New Testaments demonstrates the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit.

Pestilence, death, and scarcity all share the same stage with those that would conquer, destroy and take from the others. Luxury and poverty, power and weakness live together on this earth. It is the work of man to take and divide. It is the wisdom of God to give and make whole.

1 Corinthians 15:25-27
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.

Exodus 9:16-17
But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go.

Zechariah 6:2-5
The first chariot had red horses, the second black horses, the third white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled horses—all of them strong. Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” And the angel answered and said to me, “These are going out to the four winds of heaven, after presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Scroll - Revelation 5:1-10

Revelation 5:1-10 ESV
The Scroll and the Lamb
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty- four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.

Who is worthy indeed? The question is asked and no one is found on the earth that is able to come forward. All the inhabitants of heaven remain where they are. There is no one. John realizes this and begins to weep bitter tears.
Then one of the elders begins to speak. He is from the body of Christ which gives witness of His marvelous deeds. "Weep no more". He shall dry every eye. Those that mourn will leap for joy! The Lion of Judah has conquered and has overcome the world. He is the word of God that endures forever and does not return empty. Through Him fulfillment is found. To Him everything has been given.

Christ appears between between the throne and the living creatures. He is the way to God, the only way to the Father from all creation.

Notice He stands among the elders, just as He walks in the midst of the lamp stands of the church. The one just described as the Lion of Judah is now called the Lamb. The mystery and wonder of a God that would become the sacrificial lamb to show us the way comes into view. We are to humble ourselves before we are glorified to the glory of God. The seven horns and seven eyes relay His complete power and dominion over creation.

Then the strong arm of God reaches to the right hand of God and assumes the dominion of creation that was promised by the Father to the Son. He has fulfilled His first entrance into creation that opens the door to heaven. Just as we find the Lamb and the King to be one, we see another message of the unity of Father and Son. Jesus was the word of God. A word spoken comes from within a man. He has the Spirit of the Father, the same Spirit that is given to us, which is the body of Christ. He is God revealed out loud, made manifest that God would reveal Himself in a way that we can hear. Give ear...

The elders and the living creature fall down before The Lord in worship. The elders sing a new song and are further identified with the prayers of the saints. The new song is the joyful thanksgiving of those delivered by the new covenant. They acknowledge what He has done and what He is doing. He has ransomed a people to rule by His side and serve Him as priests. They are depicted before Him as elders, the first fruits of a great harvest to come.

Ezekiel 2:9-10
And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. And he spread it before me. And it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe.

Daniel 8:26-27
The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”
And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king's business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.

Isaiah 41:28-29
But when I look, there is no one;
among these there is no counselor
who, when I ask, gives an answer.
Behold, they are all a delusion;
their works are nothing;
their metal images are empty wind.

Daniel 12:8-9
I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.

Isaiah 11:1-5
Chapter 11
The Righteous Reign of the Branch
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

Philippians 2:9-11
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Psalms 141:2
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

Psalms 33:3-5
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

Psalms 98:1-3
Psalm 98
Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord
A Psalm.
Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

May Dwell There - Psalms 68:17-18

Psalms 68:17-18 ESV
The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
thousands upon thousands;
the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
You ascended on high,
leading a host of captives in your train
and receiving gifts among men,
even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.

God Almighty has come near to the earth. The strong arm of The Lord has come for man, descending from heaven bringing the Holy Spirit with Him to free us. We share in that gift and the gifts of the Spirit. The Spirit descended onto the Son. We who are in the body of Christ participate in the Spirit and fellowship of God. We continue to incarnate God on earth for He is with us. That might explain why the Spirit could not come until Jesus left.

"Sinai in the sanctuary" could be speaking of the mountain on earth, the kingdom of believers who now have entered the Throne room of the Father. The sons of God have entered His house.

In the Ephesians passage below, earth is called the lower regions.  There are some that suspect this hell. It is the dominion of Satan after all.

In the Psalm 139, the earth is where we are woven together, in the depths of the earth. It is the womb of our birth and the birth pains of the new creation continue, even as they increase. It is here we are formed and the clay is molded into vessels of God. The gift of life is poured in, life more abundant to the point of overflow. The earth will be born again and God will rest in His labors. We shall then join Him in His rest, which is our Sabbath.

The Lord will dwell there. The New Creation has begun with us and shall be revealed when we see Him face to face. He is with us now.

Ephesians 4:8-10
Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
( In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Exodus 19:20
The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

Psalms 139:15-16
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.